Pigeon Valley Fire update 21 - 09:45 hours 09/02/2019

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Pigeon Valley Fire update 21 - 09:45 hours 09/02/2019

 

Reminder: A state of emergency is still in place

 

Community meetings

A second meeting will be held today, Saturday 9 February:

11am Hope Church, 114 Ranzau Road

 

Pigeon Valley fire

The fire continued to burn actively overnight, passing the trigger point for evacuation for the Wakefield area at around midnight last night.

 

Over 100 personnel worked hard throughout the night to fight the fire and create control lines. There is still large amounts of unburnt vegetation within the control line.

 

Fire activity has increased this morning. Our most significant efforts are currently focused on a fire front near Wakefield which is moving slowly downslope.

 

Today there are:

  • 23 helicopters
  • 2 fixed wing planes
  • 1 drone team
  • 29 firefighting crews and around 150 firefighters
  • 47 Incident Management staff
  • 23 heavy machines (excavators and dozers)

…fighting the fire. Additional resources from around the country will also be arriving to assist and replace some crews who have been working for 5 days.

 

The relative humidity has increased this morning which will help firefighting efforts today.  Today’s winds are also forecast to be lower than yesterday, gusting up to around 30km/h by 6pm today and are predicted to reach 50km/h tomorrow.

 

Walters Bluff fire

Crews remained at Walters Bluff overnight after a fire broke out around 3pm above Iwa Road yesterday. The fire is still under control and three crews and a bulldozer will be on site working to extinguish remaining fire.

 

Managed escort                                                                                       

Residents in the rural areas east of Wakefield who are outside the evacuation zone will have managed access from 8am to 6pm today. The New Zealand Defence Fore will be running escorted convoys through the portion of SH6 that runs through Wakefield township. This will allow access through Wakefield for residents who would otherwise not be able to get past cordons on Eighty Eight Valley Rd, Totara Rd, Church Valley Rd and Bridge Valley Rd.

 

The Highway remains closed for all other traffic, which would continue to use the signposted detour through the Motueka Valley.

 

The escorted convoys will be running straight through the town with no stopping or diversions. They are not an opportunity for residents within the evacuation zone to check on property.

 

There will be checkpoints at the South end of Wakefield and in the vicinity of Spring Grove for those needing to join the convoy.

 

Wakefield Evacuations

Two evacuations have been completed for Wakefield residents along:

  1. Residents north of SH6 between Pigeon Valley Road and Simmonds Road.
  2. Residents in the area bordered by Barton Lane, Higgins Road and Baigent Valley Road.

Around 860 properties have been evacuated from this area. All those who have evacuated are asked to register at Saxton Field Stadium, Stoke or ring 03 543 8400.

 

As a precautionary measure, remaining residents in Wakefield should be ready to evacuate.

People are asked to please take water, food, medicines, pets and valuables.

More information at www.nelsontasmancivildefence.co.nz

 

Further updates

Updates will be available on the Nelson Tasman Civil Defence website and facebook page, both Nelson City and Tasman District Council facebook pages and websites, and through Newstalk ZB 1341AM and BrianFm radio at 105.6 FM.

Ends.

Media Contact:
Nelson Tasman Civil Defence and Emergency Management 
027 703 0409

Further updates will be provided as soon as it is available